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REVIEWS


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Other Minds Video Archive
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite Mar 26, 2011
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A highly enjoyable,enlightening interview and musical jam. Nels is very self-effacing and...

Derk Richardson interviews Los Angeles based guitarist/improviser Nels Cline at the Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco on March, 26, 2005. Cline talks about his early influences, including John Coltrane, Ravi Shankar, Jimi Hendrix, and Miles Davis. As a guitar player, Cline discusses the difficulties he had in incorporating the instrument into jazz music, and his gradual discovery about the similarities between the sound of Coltrane’s tenor sax and his guitar playing. Cline then plays a...
Topics: ROVA, Nels Cline, Improv:21, Interview and Music, Free Improvisation, Jazz

A highly enjoyable,enlightening interview and musical jam. Nels is very self-effacing and...

Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of America's most distinguished composers, Lou Harrison, whose use of gamelan instruments and interest in other musics of the world helped bring an appreciation of Pacific and Asian music to the U.S. William Colvig has collaborated with Harrison for many years, building original and gamelan-inspired instruments. The program begins with Eric Marin's film documenting Harrison & Colvig, and continues with excerpts from Harrison's Piano Concerto (featuring...
Topics: Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, New Music
Source: Other Minds

The all-day special broadcast celebrating KPFA’s 40th anniversary continues with a documentary about Elsa Knight Thompson. Throughout the 1960’s, KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson was an extraordinary and controversial programmer. Her experience with the BBC in London during World War II and in Washington D. C. at WCFM prepared her for a scintillating career as a radio journalist at KPFA, and her direct and incisive interviews of both left and right-wing figures were...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events

Other Minds Audio Archive
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite Aug 20, 2010
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I've always enjoyed Eno's music and reading various interviews (in particular, the one in Wired a...

Charles Amirkhanian and Brian Eno discuss Phonetic Poetry, how Brian writes his lyrics, and the spirit of inquisitiveness at KPFA Radio on Saturday February 2, 1980. Listen to some of Brian Enos pieces; After the Heat, Everything Merges With the Night, Another Green World, Spirits Drifting and sections of other pieces. Brian Eno also discusses the artist Peter Schmidt and their work on the Oblique Strategies Cards, being a producer, Process vs Product and looping. Reel I ends with some thoughts...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, New Music, Popular Music, Brian Eno
Source: Other Minds

I've always enjoyed Eno's music and reading various interviews (in particular, the one in Wired a...

In a program recorded on August 19, 1970, Charles Amirkhanian and Bill Northwood highlight upcoming shows on KPFA-FM and current events in the San Francisco Bay Area. After a couple of brief musical selections by Amirkhanian and the Ba-Benzele Pygmies of the Central African Republic, the two are joined in the studio by Richard Friedman who talks about KPFA-FM's foray into ambient field recordings with the new series, "The World Ear Project". This is followed by an excerpt of a...
Topics: Sound poetry, Interview and Music, World Music, KPFA-FM

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Derk Richardson interviews members of the ROVA Saxophone Quartet at San Francisco’s Mission Cultural Center on June 5, 2005. They discuss the relationships of imagery to sound including the use of graphic notation in spontaneous compositions, as well as using film imagery to guide an improvisation. Konrad Steiner talks about the experimental films of Stan Brakhage, which have been used by members of ROVA as inspiration for some of their works. More like this available at radiOM
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Jazz, Interview and Music

Composer/percussionist/improviser Gino Robair gathers an improv-orchestra of 40 Bay Area improvisers to help him demonstrate his music and methods for his opera in progress called: I Norton Derk Richardson interviewed Robair at 21 Grand gallery in Oakland, on February 1, 2006. (This is Rova:Arts un-edited camera footage.)
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Gino Robair

Recorded in 1974 by the Radio Nederland Transcription Service, a program about music and culture in the Netherlands. The program begins with a performance by, and interview with, Larry Weinstein, an American student at the Netherlands Carillon School in Amersfoort. Then, after a brief review of a book about how the theories of two 19th century American fringe scientists about the Earth being hollow and habitable on the inside influenced some of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, the program...
Topics: Avant-garde, Interview and Music, 20th century classical

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This live broadcast from the very new KPFA building at 1929 Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley, California aired nationally on NPR. It features the world premiere of Lou Harrison’s “Homage to Pacifica” (commissioned by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation), a six movement, 45 minute composition for narrator, soloists, mixed chorus, and Javanese gamelan ensemble. An intermission feature presents a rare recording made in 1949, just after KPFA went on the air in which Henry Cowell...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical

Other Minds Audio Archive
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Charles Shere talks to Philip Winsor about his work, Sound Study I, written at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, was followed two years later with his Sound Study II, produced at the Milan Studio. Together they try to sort the differences in achievement out of the similarities of means. A classic example of a classically trained composer (Shere) trying to get his head around the process of composing electronic music. (- from the KPFA Folio)
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Phil Winsor

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In honor of Imbrie's 50th birthday Charles Amirkhanian interviews the composer Andrew Imbrie and San Francisco Chronicle music critic Robert Commanday. Topics discussed include Imbrie's early influences; neoclassicism vs. romanticism.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Andrew Imbrie

Other Minds Audio Archive
Feb 21, 2009
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Han Reiziger of VPRO (Dutch Radio) hosted a number of KPFA broadcasts in 1974 as part of an exchange program. In this edition he introduces the works of six Dutch composers, several of which are very rare in United States, to this day. Included are incidental music by Alphons Diepenbrock, two re-workings of the Dutch national anthem by Anthon van der Horst and Louis Andriessen, a symphony by Cornelis Dopper, a seldom heard avant-garde piece by Bernard van Beurden, and an aleatoric work for two...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Han Reiziger, 20th Century Classical

In another segment from KPFA’s all day broadcast celebrating its 40th anniversary, Charles Amirkhanian introduces a program of unusual “airchecks” (recordings made during a live broadcast), saved by KPFA producers during strategic moments. You will thrill to the sounds of Bill Schechner, who later went on to a career with NBC News, reading headlines from the wire services on April 1, 1978, complete with impertinent asides; Kris Welch in a confrontational interview with Wayne Dyer, author...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Current Events, Folk Music

Other Minds Audio Archive
Dec 21, 2010
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On February 10, 1986, as part of it’s fund raising marathon, KPFA dedicated an entire day of programming to the music of Frank Zappa, including this four hour long segment, during which Zappa joined Charles Amirkhanian, live in the studio to talk about his work and his fight against censorship, as well as to take part in an hour long panel discussion on gang violence and its relationship to rock music and Satanism. Although much of the time is taken up with pleas for money, Zappa manages to...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa

The eminent musicologist and humorist Peter Schickele, discover of P.D. Q. Bach talks with conductor George Cleve about the works of this obscure, umpteenth child of J. S Bach. Best described as a manic plagiarizer P.D.Q. Bach has been entertaining audiences with his music for decades. The occasion for this broadcast was a preview of a concert Schickele was about to give with the San Jose Symphony Orchestra.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Orchestral Music, P.D.Q. Bach

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Charles Amirkhanian introduces Lou Harrison, who then introduces two of his works. The first is Solstice, a ballet written for the Jean Erdman Dance Group and scored for flute, oboe, trumpet, 2 celli, bass, tack piano, and celesta. The second work is a collection of his Peace Pieces, recorded on August 17, 1968 at the Cabrillo Music Festival. All the Peace Pieces are political protest pieces.
Topics: Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Orchestral Music

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In December 1970, Charles visited Böske Antheil (widow of the late composer) at her home in Los Angeles. During a search of the family archives two acetate private recordings of the Third (1947) and Fifth Piano Sonata (1950) were discovered. The performances were by Frederick Marvin who also performs the Fourth Sonata (1948) on an early LP recording (Alco ALP 1007). The program begins with a performance of the Second Sonata, "Airplane," composed in 1922. This contrasting work in the...
Topics: Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical, George Antheil

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Composer John Vincent (b. 1902, Birmingham, Alabama) is best known for his “Symphony in D” which was recorded and often played by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra. His music is exuberant and joyful and makes for some fine listening in this program which also includes an interview recorded in Los Angeles. You will hear his “Symphony in D,” “Quartet No. 2 for Strings” (1967), “Symphonic Poem after Descartes” (1958), and the “Benjamin Franklin Suite for String...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, John Vincent

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On June 27, 1969, Richard Maxfield, 42, jumped out of a window of the Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles, ending his tragically short life during which he became known as one of the earliest and foremost electronic music composers. Maxfield studied at U. C. Berkeley, performed concerts widely, and taught at the New School in New York City and then at the San Francisco State University in the late 1960s. In this program, Charles Amirkhanian plays a selection from Maxfield’s vast output, including...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Richard Maxfield

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews Manfred Eicher, the founder and director of ECM Records. Topics discussed include the influence of ECM, its unique sound, and the work of its best known artists, including Keith Jarrett, Arvo Pärt, and Jan Garbarek. The advantages of certain recording techniques and venues are also mentioned. This Interview was recorded in June, 1985 in Munich Germany.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Jazz, ECM Records, Manfred Eicher

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In this December 1962 program from the KPFA archives, composers Ramón Sender and Robert Moran (then graduate students in composition at Mills College), talk with Will Ogdon and John Whiting of the KPFA staff. Also present was dancer Judith Wickware who had worked with Anne Halprin. The two composers discuss the role of aleatoric, or chance music, in their work.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical

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Dan McClosky interviews Little Milton, the well-known blues guitarist and soul singer. Little Milton got his musical education, as did many rhythm and blues artists of his age, in the black churches of the South. In this wide ranging interview he describes his humble beginnings and his early fascination with the guitar, as well as discussing the various blues musicians that influenced him. The interview is peppered with excerpts of many of the songs and performers mentioned, including those by...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Little Milton

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A program in honor of Nicolas Slonimsky in celebrations of his 97th birthday. Charles Amirkhanian plays a number of pieces by and for Slonimsky, including a couple of his own compositions. Also heard is a telephone conversation between Slonimsky and Charles Amirkhanian in which they discuss the latest edition of Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians of which Slonimsky is the editor. Slonimsky also discusses the advances in musical composition during the last century including...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Nicolas Slonimsky

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Broughton’s unique cinematic and poetic observations of the cosmic/comic human situation are reflected in this 1973 interview conducted by Charles Amirkhanian on the occasion of Broughton’s 60th birthday (November 10, 1973). Born in Modesto California, Broughton was one of the San Francisco poetry renaissance writers, and the maker of the prize-winning film, “The Bed”, among others. Broughton’s works are imbued with a sense of joy, magic, and childlike playfulness. In this program he...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Poetry, James Broughton

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Laura Reichek of the Alcatraz Solidarity Committee introduces three elderly members of the Omaha Tribe who visited the KPFA studios on November 24, 1970, to record a short program of Omaha songs. The performers are Charles Edwards, Mark Merrick and Rudolph Clark of Macy, Nebraska, who came to Berkeley to help celebrate the first anniversary of the Indian landing of Alcatraz Island. The drum used in these songs is made of a wooden frame covered with cowhide. It weighs about 35 pounds and has a...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, Native American

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British composer, electronic music specialist, and program host, Richard Povall presents the final installment of his KPFA series, Stereochemistry, broadcast on August 27, 1990. This is a program of newly released computer music, poetry, theater, performance and technology driven art, as well as whatever else he could get his hands on, but always highlighting the use of technology in a creative way. (from KPFA Folio)
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Performance Art, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic

From a recording made in May of 1991, Charles Amirkhanian interviews Paul Dresher about his theatrical production, “Pioneer”, which "celebrates and exposes American explorers and the myths of the pioneering spirit." Several songs from the production are also heard. The two also discuss the difficulties in portraying offensive attitudes such as racial bigotry and the history of American colonialism. In the second half of the program is Charles and Paul are joined by Gerald Oshita...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Music Theatre

On September 14, 2005, Derk Richardson interviewed singer/violinist/composer Carla Kihlstedt at The Thick House in San Francisco. Kihlstedt studied music at Oberlin where her interests expanded from the classical repertoire to more improvisational and avant-garde music. In 1997 she co-founded the group Tin Hat Trio with Rob Burger and Mark Orton, and has also played with 2 Foot Yard and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. In this interview she speaks about her influences and her improvising concepts in...
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Free Improvisation, Interview and Music, Carla Kihlstedt

Oliver Lake gives a crash course in his personal history and writing for many bands and performance situations. Derk Richardson interviewed the composer and sax player at San Francisco’s Thick House in October, 2005. [This is ROVA: Arts un-edited camera footage.]
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Oliver Lake, Derk Richardson, Interview and Music

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A Live Concert of music by Ingram Marshall, recorded in the KPFK studio in Los Angeles. After a brief introduction by the composer we hear two short pieces of sound poetry followed by the longer work, Fragility Cycles.
Topics: KPFK-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Ingram Marshall

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A program dedicated to the marvelous glass instrument, the Cristal, invented by the Baschet brothers of Paris in 1956. Consisting of glass rods, the Cristal is played by rubbing the rods with wet fingers, the way one would a wine glass, the vibrations of which are then acoustically amplified through a series of metallic resonators Host Charles Amirkhanian is joined in the KPFA studios by David James, Jerry Kuderna, Peter Josheff and Annie Hallett, who play a number of pieces live as well as...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, 20th Century Classical

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Britain's John Storm Roberts, formally a writer with the East African Standard, a newspaper in Kenya, talks about the influence of African music in the Western Hemisphere, and the Caribbean in particular. Musical examples of a most unusual nature from his recently released Nonesuch Explorer Series record (H-72047) serve to illustrate his dialogue with Charles Amirkhanian. Mr. Roberts is also the author of Black Music of Two Worlds, published in September of 1972 by Praeger.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, World Music, African Music

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Charles Amirkhanian reports on The Expanded Ear music conference, held on April 27-29, 1973 at the Camp de Benneville Pines, in the San Bernardino National Forest. The highlight of the conference was the Six Acre Jam, performed over a hillside by about 60 musicians and no less than ten synthesizers. Join Charles as he takes a walk through the woods interviewing performers and composers, including Richard Bunger, Barry Gott, Jacques Bekaert, Nicolas Slonimsky & Dane Rudhyar, all while the...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Free Improvisation, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic

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Harry Partch discusses receiving notariety using a scale of 43 separate tones and original instruments with references to his "Genesis of a Music." There is a brief introduction to "Twelve Intrusions," this recording which is played by five musicians under Partch's direction. The pieces are: Study in an Ancient Phrygian Scale, Study in the Ancient Greek Enharmonic Scale, The Rose, The Crane, The Wind, The Waterfall, The Letter, The Street, Vanity, Lover, Soldiers/War/Another...
Topics: Interview and Music, Microtonal music, Unconventional Instruments, Harry Partch
Source: Other Minds

Charles Amirkhanian reviews a concert by the San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble of avant-garde or experimental music, by mostly young English composers, which was held on March 21, 1974 and was to be repeated the next day. Works heard include an arrangement of an early 20th century waltz, a song based on a Chinese melody by Cornelius Cardew, and a rondo by Christopher Hobbs. Also heard are two pieces by Gavin Bryars, one inspired by the story of the Titanic, and another by a film of...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, 20th Century Classical

In March 1963, Pierre Boulez delivered an address to the Festival of Contemporary Arts at the University of Illinois in Urbana on the topic of music and poetry. After a brief introduction by Igor Stravinsky, Boulez reflects on his work with the texts of Stephane Mallarmé and on the challenge of relating those “two sacred monsters’, music and poetry. After tracing the history of setting poetry to music, Boulez defends his own “abstract” way of handling texts, all the while insisting...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Lecture, Panel Discussion, Pierre Boulez

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From a program recorded in 1968, Tom Donahue interviews Frank Zappa about his life and work, and allows the irreverent rock star to present some of his favorite music. The ensuing free form program ranges from surf music, doo-wop, jazz, the blues, to the works of Pierre Boulez. The song selection is very informative for any fan of Zappa’s music, as one can easily trace the influence of all these styles on his own creative output, be it the cheesy harmonies of 1950s pop songs or the intricate...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Frank Zappa

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In a program originally recorded in May of 1963, Rolf Cahn and Phil Huffman talk to Texas bluesman Mance Lipscomb, about his life and music. He describes growing up as a Baptist in the South, the balance between singing and playing music, as well as the origins of many of his best known songs. Throughout the discussion, Lipscomb performs a number of both, famous and obscure, acoustic blues songs, often responding to requests by Huffman and Cahn, who sound as pleased as two cats in a fish pond...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Folk Music

Charles Amirkhanian interviews Richard Felciano, a member of the faculty at UC Berkeley, whose album “The Music of Richard Felciano”, has been issued by Composers Recordings, Inc. Felciano introduces a number of his works including a December 1975 live performance of a piece for 14 carillons located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area all playing simultaneously. Felciano also discusses the challenges facing contemporary composers of new music.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, Richard...

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Gordon Spencer of WBAI in New York presents a program about Louis Hardin, more popularly known as Moondog. From the 1940s up until 1974 Moondog made his living as a street musician and poet in New York City and was typically found near the jazz clubs on 52nd Street. Blind since an accident when he was 16 years old, Moondog was always recognizable in his Viking helmet playing a variety of instruments, some of his own design. In this program Moondog talks about his interests, his influences and...
Topics: KPFA-FM, WBAI, Interview and Music, Jazz, Avant-Garde, Louis Hardin, Moondog

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Taking questions directly from the audience and extrapolating from there, composer, saxophonist, Tzadik record label owner, and MacArthur Fellow John Zorn, talks about his work and the avant-garde music scene as he sees it. Joined by moderator Larry Ochs of the ROVA Saxopone Quartet and percussionist William Winant, Zorn discusses a number of topics including the use of texts in musical compositions; the influence of Judaism on his music; the process of composing 300 tunes in a matter of...
Topics: ROVA: Improv:21: Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Free Improvisation, John Zorn

The intersection between abstract art and improvised music is explored by composer, musician, and educator, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, in this program recorded on March 12, 2007, and produced by ROVA: Arts as part of their Improv 21 series of interview/performances with gifted composers specializing in various forms of improvisation. Smith, a talented jazz trumpeter, first began composing music at the age of 12, and has since gone on to develop a system for guided improvisation that he calls...
Topics: ROVA: Improv:21: Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Free Improvisation, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith

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Han Reiziger, Music Director of VPRO Radio, in the Netherlands, presents a selection of mostly 20th century classical music, by a variety of Dutch composers. One of the jurors for the 1973 Grad Prix du Disque, Reiziger produced a number of shows for KPFA-FM as part of a cultural exchange program with VPRO, including this program recorded on November 11, 1974. In this show he plays a number of musical selections by Dutch composers, that were largely unknown and unavailable in the United States...
Topics: 16th century classical, Music, Chamber Music, KPFA-FM, 20th century classical, Interview and Music,...

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One of the big hits of the 1980-81 San Francisco Symphony season was the world premiere of a work by Bay Area composer John Adams, a Harvard graduate now teaching at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. His settings of texts by John Donne (“Negative Love”) and Emily Dickinson (“Because I Could Not Stop For Death” & “Wild Nights” ) for chorus and full orchestra has set a new direction for the course of repetitive (or minimal) music, a style initiated by Steve Reich, Terry...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, New Music, Minimalism, John Adams

KPFA’s Charles Amirkhanian presents a preview of the compositions and composers featured during the 1991 Composer to Composer Festival, an international conference on New Music held at Telluride, Colorado, on July 11-14, 1991. Amirkhanian, who was co-director of the 1991 event, introduces selections highlighting many of the invited headliners, including, Eleanor Alberga, Louis Andriessen, Paul Dresher, Janice Giteck, Alicia Terzian, G. S. Sachdev, Pamela Z, Tom Ze, among others. (from KPFA...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, New Music, 20th Century Classical, Composer to Composer festival

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Ron Williams, a student of psycho-acoustics and composer, talks about his experiments with binaural recording, which he hopes will lead toward a process of recording which will exactly simulate the human hearing experience. Williams has designed a model of his own head with two microphones carefully placed inside the fleshy ears. The purpose is to record sounds exactly as humans hear them, including any spatial components. This head was used to record this interview with Charles Amirkhanian as...
Topics: KPFA-FM, psycho-acoustics, Ron Williams, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic/Electronic

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A live performance of “HubRenga”, an audience interactive music and poetry piece made possible by the communication between two computer networks. The collaborators in the creation of this piece are San Francisco Bay Area computer music band The Hub, novelist and musician Ramón Sender, and poets from a poetry conference of The Well (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link), a pioneering electronic community that operates in the Bay Area facilitating communication between people interested in arts...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interactive Art, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, The Hub

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The work of the prominent Dutch composer, Ton de Leeuw, has included influences from Bartok, serialism, the classical music of India and Indonesia, spatial music, mathematics, and chance. In 1983 Leeuw was a visiting composer at the University of California in Berkeley, and dropped by the KPFA studio to talk with Charles Amirkhanian. The two discuss Leeuw’s music and introduce a number of his recorded compositions. Ton de Leeuw died in 1996. (from KPFA Folio)
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, New Music, Ton...

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews the visiting New York composer whose Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra has been recorded for RCA, and whose larger works are finding their places in the repertories of major orchestras the country over. Lees discusses his childhood in San Francisco, and the fact that none of his works have been performed in the Bay Area. Included in the program are the first movement of his Piano Sonata No. 4 performed by Gary Graffman, Symphony No. 3 (1968) performed by...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Orchestral Music, 20th Century Classical, Benjamin Lees

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Han Reiziger interviews the Dutch composer, Bernard van Beurden, and plays a number of his works. Beurden, who was born in 1933, and is not very well known in the United States, composes avant-garde music, often preferring to work with youth or amateur groups, rather than with professional orchestras. The result is often a less polished yet more vibrant performance, as is demonstrated on a number of the works played here. One can not help but feel that what Beurden has sacrificed in terms of...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, 20th Century Classical, Han Reiziger

Larry Ochs of ROVA (Rova Saxophone Quartet) introduces an insightful interview of composer/improviser Fred Frith by Derk Richardson, conducted at the Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco on January 30, 2005. Frith discusses the role of improvisation in his music and the recording techniques he has used in the music studio to capture and manipulate those improvisations. He also describes his use of graphic scores, his work improvising film soundtracks, and the various tricks he has developed...
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Interview and Music, Free Improvisation, Jazz, Fred Frith

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Peter Michael Hamel is a young German composer working outside the realm of traditional Central European avant-garde music. His Dharana, for solo group, orchestra and tape, was played at the 1973 Donaueschingen Music Festival in performance recorded here under the direction of Ernest Bour. Also, some selections from his solo album of electronic meditation music and a personal visit with the composer, recorded in Donaueschingen.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Peter Michael Hamel

Moderator Derk Richarson facilitates a session with composer Cheryl Leonard, who talks about her work utilizing materials from nature as musical instruments, and performs several excerpts from longer pieces with her own chamber ensemble. Amplifying everything from pine cones, pieces of driftwood, rock, sand, water, and other natural objects, Leonard composes works that are surprisingly textured and full of unusual rhythms. During this program she talks about how she finds or builds her...
Topics: ROVA, Improv:21, Avant-Garde, Unconventional Instruments, Interview and Music, Cheryl Leonard

Charles Amirkhanian interviews Martin Koenig, a collector and publisher of Balkan folk music about his work as an ethnomusicologist specializing in Eastern European folk music and dances. Koenig also introduces a number of recordings from his collection.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Martin Koenig

In this edition of Ode To Gravity Charles Amirkhanian presents a selection of art songs by Ned Rorem interspersed with excerpts from Rorem’s book, “Music from Inside Out”, in which the composer discusses history and art of song writing. For additional works by Rorem be sure to check out the recently released CD “The Songs of Ned Rorem”, from the Other Minds record label and available at www.otherminds.org.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Art Songs, Ned Rorem

Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Wayne Peterson, whose background spans the jazz and European classical worlds. Peterson taught composition and piano as a member of the San Francisco State University Music faculty. Here Peterson presents three of his more traditionally classical compositions.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music, Wayne...

On September 29, 1979, Ivan Wyschnegradsky died in Paris at the age of 86. Only in the last two years of his life did he become widely recognized in Europe for his contributions to the repertoire. Since the early 1920s he had composed in various microtonal systems in an attempt to expand the possibilities of musical expression. Presented in this program is the first American broadcast of Wyschnegradsky’s early (1916-17) mystical work “La Journee de l’Existence”. The performance,...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, Orchestral Classical, Microtonal music, Ivan...

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In this program, recorded in 1966, host Ann McMillan talks with the Chinese-born composer and long-time teacher at Columbia University, Chou Wen-Chung. Chou Wen-Chung describes his music as an attempt to capture the same emotionality of Chinese poetry, calligraphy, and landscape painting. While presenting many of his compositions, McMillan also reads translations of several of the poems that served as the inspiration for the works. In addition Chou Wen-Chung offers a clear analysis of the...
Topics: KPFA-FM, WBAI, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Chou Wen-Chung

Derk Richardson interviews New York based, master-saxophonist, Ned Rothenberg, who composes and performs on saxophones, clarinets, flute, and shakuhachi (an end blown Japanese bamboo flute). He has been internationally acclaimed for his solo music, which he has presented for the past 25 years in hundreds of concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, and Japan. In this Improv:21 event, recorded on February 15, 2006 at 21 Grand in Oakland, CA, Ned compares the dynamics of solo...
Topics: ROVA: Improv:21: Interview and Music, Jazz, Free Improvisation, Ned Rothenberg

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In a program from 1988, Charles Amirkhanian talks with one of America’s most fascinating composers specializing in electro-acoustic and computer music, Larry Austin (b. 1930). From 1958-72 Austin taught at the University of California in Davis while also serving as the first editor of the avant-garde music composition journal, “Source”. In 1972 he moved to the University of South Florida, and in 1978 he began teaching at North Texas State University where he directed the Center for...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Electro-Acoustic,...

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May 30, 2012
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An interview with Berkeley guitarist and composer Robbie Basho, one of the most innovative performers playing acoustically at the time of this recording. Robbie introduces music from his Vanguard record album "Zarthus" (1974) and talks with Charles Amirkhanian about world music influences in his recent work and his interest in American Indian music.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Folk Music, Robbie Basho

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During this session of the Speaking of Music series formerly held at San Francisco's Exploratorium, Louis Andriessen discusses his works and plays excerpts for the audience. Selections heard include "On Jimmy Yancey", and "Hoketus".
Topics: KPFA-FM, Speaking of Music series, Interview and Music, Minimalism, 20th Century Classical, Louis...

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews the great jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett, before a live audience on January 23, 1986, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series. Keith Jarrett had recently suffered from a self-described “breakdown” and was reevaluating many thing in his life in May of 1985 when he began making a series of overdubbed improvised music pieces which were especially satisfying to him, as they are for most everybody else who hears them. (These recordings...
Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Jazz, Keith Jarrett

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews German composer Dieter Schnebel. The program begins with Schnebel performing "Mouth Work", a sound poetry piece whose theory he later discusses in relation to the organs of articulation in the body. An unidentified orchestral piece, as well as "Schubert-Phantasie" is played for the audience, and the program concludes with another sound poetry piece performed by Schnebel.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Avant-Garde, Dieter Schnebel, Speaking of Music series

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A live guest appearance on KPFA by Los Angeles music lexicographer and former conductor Nicolas Slonimsky. He talks with KPFA's Charles Amirkhanian about his family roots, superannuation, Varese, Ives, semism, pandiatonicism, and the extreme avant-garde in music.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Avant-Garde, Nicolas Slonimsky

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A program prepared by KPFK music director, William Malloch, on the orchestral music of Silvestre Revueltas, the colorful Mexican composer. Malloch illustrates the composers tendency to orchestrate Mexican folk music and compares two performances of Sensemayá in which the tempos of the piece varies dramatically. Also included is the broadcast of a rare recording of a lengthy suite compiled by the conductor Jose Limantour, from Revueltas music to the film La Noche de los Mayas. (from KPFA Folio)
Topics: KPFA-FM, KPFK, Interview and Music, Orchestral Music, 20th Century Classical, Silvestre Revueltas

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Charles Amirkhanian presents an Ode to Gravity program featuring an interview with the composer Alvin Curran from his home in Rome. Selections from this informal talk with Curran are interspersed with musical excerpts, with a special emphasis on the group Curran helped found in the mid-1960s, Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV). The composer discusses his co-founders, who included Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum and Alan Bryant, and describes the synthesis of the group, its working methods, and...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Alvin Curran

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After listening to “In Woods for oboe, harp, and percussion” by American composer and pianist Leo Smit, Charles Amirkhanian then interviews the composer about his career and his relationship with other composers of the first half of the 20th century.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Leo Smit

Recorded on December 16, 1980, Charles Amirkhanian interviews musician, composer, and conductor Robert Hughes. Topics discussed include working with Laurie Anderson on the world premiere of her work "Born, Never Asked". Fans of Anderson's later popular albums will recognize many of the musical themes running through this piece. The recording of the piece, made on May 17, 1980, features Anderson performing with the Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra, an award winning group which was led...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Performance Art, Robert Hughes

Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer John Adams in February 1990 about his music, including his two orchestral works, “The Wound-Dresser” and “Fearful Symmetries”. The composer of the opera “Nixon in China” also delivers a progress report on his next opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer”, as well as discussing his affinity for working with small orchestras, and other sundry topics. Born in Worcester, Mass on February 15, 1947, Adams celebrated his 43rd birthday the week of this...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Opera, John Adams

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Recorded on March 8, 1984 as part of the San Francisco’s Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series Charles Amirkhanian interviews avant-garde vocalist Joan La Barbara before a live audience. Joan La Barbara talks about her evolution from a singer of the classical repertoire to one that focuses on experimental and new music. She also discusses the difference between public support for the arts in America and Europe.
Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, New Music, Joan La Barbara

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In the first half of the program David Land discusses how he composes music, in the second half he talks about the upcoming Bang on a Can Festival in New York City. Lang is one of the founders of this well-known music festival. Lang discusses the travails of young composers trying to get their music played as well as the unfortunate friction between Uptown and Downtown music. Heard during the program are examples of Lang's orchestral and chamber music as well as two live performances of his...
Topics: Speaking of Music series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Chamber Music, David Lang

The Swedish ensemble, the Fresk Quartet, made its San Francisco Bay Area debut in 1978, performing string quartets by Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johan Wikmanson, and Claude Debussy. The Fresk Quartet was formed in 1965 by four young students from Stockholm and spent the next decade performing through Northern Europe, the Soviet Union, Canada, and Australia. The Quartet specializes in works by Swedish composers including many contemporary composers, and has recorded a number of albums for the Caprice...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Classical Music, Chamber Music, Fresk Quartet

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews one of the most important American composer/performers of the past quarter century, Frederic Rzewski, who has lived in Rome and Brussels during that period. The composer of a famous set of piano variations on Victor Jara's “El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido”, Rzewski discusses his recent music and artistic tastes. Rzewski is known for both his remarkable virtuosity as a performer, improviser and composer, and his committed involvement in left politics. How he...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Speaking of Music series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Frederic Rzewski

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer and musician Alvin Curran before a live audience on September 28, 1989, as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series. Curran creates a sensuous music with instrumental, vocal, electronic , and natural sounds. In addition to his work as a founding member of the Rome based, radical avant-garde, group Musica Electtronica Viva (MEV), Curran has composed for many large-scale outdoor events. This program includes excerpts from...
Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Soundscapes, Avant-Garde, Alvin...

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Recorded on February 2, 1984 as part of the San Francisco Exploratorium’s Speaking of Music series Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Conlon Nancarrow before a live audience. After playing a short documentary on the life and work of Conlon Nancarrow, Charles Amirkhanian talks with the composer about his music written for the player piano.
Topics: Speaking of Music Series at the Exploratorium, Interview and Music, Mechanical Music, New Music,...

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Steve Reich and Jon Gibson stopped off at the KPFA studio after a rehearsal for a performance scheduled for the next day at the UC Berkeley’s Art Museum. The discussion centers around Reich’s very unusual music and you will hear an East Coast performance of his Four Organs as well as an exciting recording of Ghanian drumming which Reich recorded in Ghana. They also introduce the music of Philip Glass, playing a tape of his Music in Similar Motion. The program ends with a discussion about...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Minimalism, New Music, Steve Reich, John Gibson

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer and improviser Jin Hi Kim (Jin Hi= Dragon Princess; Kim=Gold) who was born in Korea and has lived in San Francisco since 1980. Ms. Kim is the first performer on the ancient komungo to play experimental and improvised music. This silk stringed wooden zither, with 6 strings, 3 moveable bridges and 16 frets is plucked in a variety ways which produce startling and vigorous sounds. She trained at the Seoul Conservatory in both Western classical composition and...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Jin Hi Kim, Interview and Music, World Music, Free Improvisation,...

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Host Charles Amirkhanian talks with musician and world activist Frank Zappa live by telephone. Discussion includes the state of world politics and culture from the viewpoint of one of the United States most provocative and original speakers. At the time this recording was made in April 1991, Zappa was exploring the possibility of running for president of the United States, and he discusses his views on the first Persian Gulf War, the legacy of George H. W. Bush, and the possibility of having...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Popular Music, Current Events, Frank Zappa

Charles Amirkhanian interviews Lowell Sheehy, who describes his visit to Afghanistan, and plays recordings he made in 1969 of the music he heard there. Lowell Sheehy describes his low-budget trips to Afghanistan, and how he met and recorded these impromptu performances in tea houses throughout southern Afghanistan.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, World Music, Afghanistan

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Steve Reich in May of 1980. The interview begins with Reich giving a brief description of his childhood experiences as a piano student and member of a school band. He then plays two recordings of his “Music for a Large Ensemble”, highlighting the ways in which he revises a piece based on his ability to rehearse it, explaining that he always prefers to work with his own ensemble, perfecting a piece, before allowing it to be played by others. Reich then...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, New Music, Minimalism, Steve Reich

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Charles Amirkhanian interviews Bay Area composer Charles Boone about his early musical career, starting as a member of a high school band, then as a student at USC. He also studied with Ernst Krenek and Adolph Weiss in Los Angeles. Here he introduces a number of his pieces, including “Raspberries” for percussion ensemble.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, 20th Century...

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Composer-performer David Jaffe has bridged the gap between acoustic folk music and the world of cerebral computer music with a multi-stylistic approach. A lecturer at Stanford University, where much of his work is produced at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Jaffe also worked with neXt Computers on creating new types of music software. His composition Impossible Animals contains human voice timbres in the shape of carefully analyzed bird songs. He is interviewed...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, David Jaffe

A program of word art by San Francisco intermedia artist Liam O'Gallagher. O’Gallagher, for many years a painter, studied with Hans Hoffmann. In the late 1960s he became very active as a leader in the Bay Area of activities in the field of event art. His book of concrete poetry, “Planet Noise”, was published by Nova Broadcast Press. In this program O’Gallagher introduces sound poems produced especially for this original KPFA broadcast.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Sound Poetry, Electro-Acoustic, Liam...

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French composer Claude Ballif is interviewed in his Paris home by Charles Amirkhanian (recorded on December 31,1973). Ballif wrote music of enormous strength and clarity. Like his compatriot Messiaen, his music is the result of his deep involvement in Catholicism, a fact which he discusses in the interview. Little known in the United States at the time of this recording, Ballif had produced a highly original and very unified series of works dating back to the mid-1950s. He was a professor of...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Claude Ballif

A program produced by Charles Amirkhanian, while he was in the Netherlands as part of an exchange program with VPRO (Holland Radio). Amirkhanian reviews a number of European musical festivals, including a concert of Letterist music. In addition Charles interviews Pierre Boulez after a recent performance of his works. Also interviewed is composer Mauricio Kagel in Cologne, Germany as he prepares for the premiere of his work, Zwei-Mann Orchester, a work scored for homemade instruments, crudely...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, Avant-Garde, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic

In this edition of Ode to Gravity, Charles Amirkhanian plays a selection of music by Banda Polyphony, Cecil Taylor Unit, Dollar Brand, Daniel Lentz, Philip Glass, and others. He then interviews French music critic Daniel Caux (with his wife translating) about their first trip to visit West Coast new music composers and performers. The program concludes with an interview with Canadian sound poet John Oswald who presents some of his recent compositions.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Ode to Gravity series, Interview and Music, New Music, Sound Poetry

John Cage was undoubtedly the 20th Century composer who did the most to change the definition of the word “music”. In this program dedicated to Cage's work, which first broadcast on the composer's 65th birthday, Charles Amirkhanian presents a selection of his music which will attempt to dispel the popular notion that Cage’s philosophy of music is more interesting than the actual substance of his compositions. In the second half of the program Cage is heard answering a number of questions...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, New Music, John Cage

Since it began publishing in 1982 the magazine, “Experimental Musical Instruments”, has exposed a growing readership to dozens of very unusual instruments and approaches to music-making. This bi-monthly 16 page newsletter also featured reviews of concerts, books, and records as well as an expanding letters section which acted as a forum for music enthusiasts. On the cover of the inaugural issue, editor Bart Hopkin states that “EMI is for people interested in new and unconventional musical...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Unconventional Instruments, Avant-Garde,...

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Composer John Adams, who was working on his opera, Nixon in China, talks with Charles Amirkhanian on the state of contemporary music. Interspersed in this free-ranging conversation are examples of music brought by both Adams and Amirkhanian to illustrate the topics discussed. Adams' composition, Harmonielehre, commissioned and recorded by the San Francisco Symphony under Edo de Waart, had just been released. The album received a nomination in the contemporary music category for a Grammy Award.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, New Music, Minimalism, John Adams

This is the second of two programs devoted to the works of the largely forgotten German-American composer, Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888-1944). Beyer, who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was a pioneering avant-garde composer who’s works would be lost if it were not for the preservation work of the American Music Center in New York City, to which she had donated her scores prior to her death. Beyer was by most accounts a tall, angular,...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert Series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Avant-Garde, Johanna...

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Aug 16, 2008
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Charles Amirkhanian interviews composer Milton Babbitt. They are joined by pianist Alan Feinberg who plays a number of Babbitt's works including one piece that will have it's world premiere the next day.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, New Music, Milton Babbitt, Speaking of...

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Richard Povall introduces a program of obscure, non-commercial music by young composers. the genres represented range from the country twang of David Mahler’s Elvis Is Watching You, to the contemplative clarinet found of Ken Steen’s, Heal the Wounds of War, to the musique concrète travelogue of Doug Khan, to the jazzy Pachelbel’s Nightmare by Steve Bissinger, to the electronic music of Ed Osborne. All together it is an eclectic romp through the new and experimental music of the late...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Sterochemistry series, Popular Music, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic

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Nov 25, 2009
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A concert and interview with whistler extraordinaire Jason Serinus (aka Jay Nassberg). Dubbed the “Pavarotti of Pucker” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Serinus, accompanied by the piano, performs a number of pieces from the classical repertoire. Serinus may also be known to people as the voice of Woodstock in many of the Peanuts animated cartoons.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, Classical Music, 20th Century Classical, Jason Serinus

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John Zorn and Larry Ochs join Charles Amirkhanian to discuss and play a selection of Zorn’s compositions. Among the pieces heard is an excerpt from “Spillane” in which Zorn tries to capture some of the film noir sensibility that imbues the Mickey Spillane novels and the gritty New York City in which they are based, and which Zorn calls home. This is followed by a couple of excerpts from Zorn’s collaborative improvisational work “Cobra” for which he created a number of general rules...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Jazz, Avant-Garde, John Zorn, Larry Ochs

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Charles Amirkhanian hosts a variety of characters on The Morning Concert: "Philip Glass meets Phalen Tassie". A series of outlandish guests, including a preposterous pan-musicologist from London, keep a KPFA fundraising drive entertaining, as Amirkhanian presents excerpts from Glass' new release, "Dance Nos. 1-5", and selections from "Phalen Tassie Sings American Contemporary Songs". Tassie, a former faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music,...
Topics: Interview and Music, Minimalism, Art Songs, Morning Concert, KPFA-FM, Philip Glass, Phalen Tassie

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Charles Amirkhanian talks live in the KPFA studio, with the famed British born, Muslim singer Najma, about her upcoming concerts in the Bay Area, including a scheduled appearance with Amirkhanian at the San Francisco Exploratorium as part of their Speaking of Music series. Najma discusses the form of the ghazal, or love song, which is very popular in India and Pakistan, and which has a long and distinguished history. Her recordings, available in this country on the Shanachie label (Qareeb,...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, World Music, Najma Akhtar

Ron Erickson interviews musicologist Hans Moldenhauer, who with his wife Rosaleen, has published a book on Anton Webern. Moldenhauer has also collected a significant archive of documents, manuscripts, and musical scores that encompass the history of music from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century, including a vast amount of materials pertaining to Webern and Schoenberg. The program concludes with a performance of the Spring and Summer concertos from Darius Milhaud’s “Four Seasons”...
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, Hans Moldenhauer

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Amirkhanian talks with Swedish composer Lars Gunnar Bodin. The program includes a demonstration of computer mix-down technique.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Morning Concert series, Interview and Music, Electro-Acoustic, Electronic, Sound Poetry,...

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A live recording of a musical reception held at 1750 Arch St. to welcome VPRO music director Han Reiziger (1934-2006) to KPFA where during a four month stint as a staff member, he produced numerous programs on Dutch musical life.
Topics: KPFA-FM, Interview and Music, 20th Century Classical, New Music, Han Reiziger